Clinton’s past is a testament to her character

Nashua Telegraph
Sunday, July 31
By Daniel Weeks

I've always believed the best way to size up politicians is by looking first at the decisions they made before entering public life. Did they set out to work for self or others? Did they make meaningful sacrifices for the greater good? How true have they remained to their expressed ideals?

Hillary Clinton has been described as the most famous person you don't know. Indeed, I do not know Hillary Clinton's heart, her faith, what makes her tick. To judge another person on those points is not my business. But I do know what she is like across the table and how she has applied the gifts she was given from Day One, and I am impressed.

I know that during her student days, Hillary joined the civil rights movement and protested the war in Vietnam, organizing teach-ins and working to recruit more black students and faculty to Wellesley. I know she served in her church and community from an early age, and displayed uncommon courage by speaking up publicly to a sitting U.S. senator in defense of peaceful protest.

The same cannot be said of Donald Trump.

I know that instead of cashing in on her fancy law degree, Hillary joined the Children's Defense Fund, ran a Legal Aid clinic in Arkansas, and began her lifelong project of advocating for "the least of these" God's children - migrant workers, people with disabilities, abused and neglected youth. The same cannot be said of Donald Trump.

I know that since entering public life, Hillary has fought long and hard for universal healthcare, gender equality, security and human rights around the world, earning the respect of many Republicans, military leaders, and foreign heads of state.

The same cannot be said of Donald Trump.

I know she is fiercely intelligent, listens hard, studies the issues, and shows respect for diverse people and points of view - even those with whom she disagrees and those intent on ending her career.

The same cannot be said of Donald Trump.

I know she came together with Bernie Sanders, whose political revolution inspired millions of Americans like me, to adopt a pathbreaking Democratic party platform that calls for rebuilding the middle class, combatting global terrorism and catastrophic climate change, reining in Wall Street, ending poverty and systemic racism, rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, making college debt-free, reforming immigration, protecting the health and safety of all Americans, restoring democracy, and more.

The same cannot be said of Donald Trump.

And I know that last year when I sat down with Hillary and other candidates on behalf of the nonpartisan NH Rebellion, she listened attentively and committed to support real campaign finance reform.

More than that, she instructed her team to work extensively with us to fashion the most comprehensive #FightBigMoney agenda ever released by a presidential candidate. Although she continues to receive support from big money donors in her campaign, her position is firm and I will do all that I can to hold her to it once she is elected. Donald Trump refused to meet with us. Hillary has made mistakes along the way, as she herself admits. So have I.

She has made compromises I wish she never made. But that does not stop me from celebrating #HistoryMade in Philadelphia and believing fervently that Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, must be the next President of the United States.

Dan Weeks is former executive director of Open Democracy and the NH Rebellion. He is currently running for New Hampshire Executive Council in District 5.


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